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Practicing good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only make you look younger, but it is also a good indicator of overall well-being. The mouth serves as a “window” to the rest of the body, providing signals of general health disorders.

Taking great care of your teeth will help you live a longer, healthier, pain-free life. There are many simple steps that each of us can take to significantly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems.

Proper brushing

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day or after every meal. The proper toothbrush should be small with soft, rounded bristles and it should ideally be changed every 3-4 months. When brushing your teeth, position the bristles at an angle of 45 degrees near the gum line. With circular motions, gently brush your teeth and gums. Lastly, brush the surfaces of your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove bacteria, which might cause bad breath.

Flossing 

Flossing can help you remove plaque and excess food particles that you may not see in the mirror or in areas that your toothbrush can’t reach. Without flossing, food particles and other debris that remain between your teeth and gums could increase your risk of gum disease and other dental issues. Dental health professionals recommend flossing your teeth at least once a day.

Mouthwash

Mouthwashes help kill bacteria and other germs that contribute to tooth decay and bad breath. Incorporate a good mouthwash into your daily oral hygiene regimen. For best results, rinse thoroughly twice a day for at least four minutes.

Avoid sodas, coffee and alcohol

Drinking these beverages may help you wash down your food, but they leave unwanted sugar behind your teeth. Many of these drinks also have added acids that are bad for your teeth. Therefore, it is best to choose beverages like water or milk, which helps to strengthen teeth and hydrates your body longer than sugary drinks.

Clean your tongue

After giving your teeth a good brushing, focus on your tongue. The tongue harbors the majority of bacteria in your mouth. The proper way of brushing your tongue is to gently brush its entire surface and then rinse thoroughly to get rid of food particles and bacteria. However, if brushing your tongue triggers your gag reflex, you may use a tongue scraper instead.

Schedule a regular checkup every six months

Routine examination and professional cleaning are necessary to keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy. A routine checkup also gives your dentist the opportunity to evaluate your teeth and check for any signs of tooth decay or dental disease.

Keep a balanced diet

The best food choices for the health of your mouth include fruits and vegetables, but you should also make sure that you are getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. For best results, try to add flaxseed oil, fish oils, and nuts to your diet.

Prevent tooth decay with the help of Vitamin D

Although calcium is important for strong and healthy teeth, Vitamin D is necessary for calcium to actually be effective in maintaining healthy teeth and bones. You can get Vitamin D through fortified food, such as dairy products, but it may also be necessary to take supplements to get enough of this vitamin. Sunlight exposure also helps the body to produce Vitamin D.

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